|A STORM-y Block Island Race Week
Thirteen boats competed in a variety of spring/summer conditions at the
2009 East Coast Championships, held during the Storm Trysail Club's
biennial Block Island Race Week. With a deep fleet and a wide variety
of conditions, winning skipper Rick Lyall was very pleased with the
event. "We always like to have our championship at an event like
it's high profile, we know the committee work, and there are good
conditions. Block Island is as good as it gets, and the
fleet is so close in capabilities."
A combination of around the
island and around the buoys racing provided variety as well, and it
wasn't until day 2 that Lyall's STORM posted a 3-1-5 to take the lead.
In his second race, he had a "perfect start, literally at the line" and
was first to the windward mark. But he was still looking over his
shoulder. STORM finished second in the last two Block Island Race
Weeks. "Being bridesmaids twice, we're trying to get rid of the curse,"
After two more days and three more races, STORM held
on for the overall victory. The key, according to Lyall, was sailing
"clean and competitively"- and winning the last race in 18-19 knots of
breeze. "It was very exciting," he said. "The boat was prepared and
performing tremendously; we were spot on with our navigation and
tactics, and we're just thrilled with the victory."
1. Storm, USA146, Rick Lyall 17.3
2. Caminos, USA52202, Donald Filippelli 27
3. Gut Feeling, USA72, Ted Herlihy 38
4. Rush, USA51, Bill Sweetser 39
5. Gossip, USA274, Group W 40
6. Skoot, USA55, Jim Vos 49
7. Picante, USA126, Robert Salk 49
8. Instant Karma, USA243, David Betts 58
9. Relentless, USA162, Al Minella 62
10. Mischief, USA200, Mike Brown 77
11. Shearwater, USA256, Hugh McLean 82
12. Nordlys, USA267, Bob Schwartz 95
13. Jibber Jabber, USA272, David Jannetti 108
Tim Wilkes took lots of great photos during the week. Unfortunately we didn't receive the okay to reprint any here before press time, so you'll have to visit his site: www.timwilkes.com
|Sail Inventory Discussion
President Rick Lyall explains the
history behind the current sail inventory rules and asks for your
feedback. Image from Doyle Sailmakers.
Fellow J/109 owners:
last week's Block Island Race Week we included an "amendment" that
allowed owners to change jibs and spinnakers at will during the day.
We viewed this as an experiment and would like to hear your reactions
now that the regatta has concluded.
The issue of sail inventory
and flexibility has been around since I began racing my boat in 2004.
As I recall, we only had one regatta with "class sails" that year, the
2004 East Coast Championship. Most owners did not have a "class jib or
spinnaker" and had to purchase them. At Block Island Race Week in 2005
we had a meeting of the 19 owners in attendance. I was very much in
favor of a larger, more flexible inventory that allowed us to adapt to
the conditions. I was voted down 18-1 on the subject as all the other
owners wanted a very simple one design inventory that made the boat
affordable and easy to sail. In retrospect, that was probably a very
important factor in helping to build the class. Owners were attracted
to the boat because it could be cruised or raced and it had a simple
racing inventory that seemed to ensure good one design competition.
drafted the class rules in 2005-2006 with input from all of the US
fleet captains and from Jeff and Rod Johnstone. The focus at the time
was on keeping the J/109 class "one design." We did not want owners to
be able to use specialty sails because it would likely result in an
"arms race" where owners with the biggest checkbooks would win. That
was the rationale for limiting the sail inventories for a day and a
Last year, after the "windy" J/109 NA's we received
feedback from owners who had kept their "new" inventories up during the
two heavy air days (>30kts) as they wanted to remain... more
|109's Dominate NYYC Annual Regatta
The three day 2009 New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta attracted 105 boats, the most in a
non-Bermuda Race year. It also served up weather challenges that,
perhaps disappointing to beach-goers, delighted the 1000 plus sailors
competing on Rhode Island Sound over three days. Racing in the
fifteen-boat IRC 5 against Express 37's, an Evelyn 32, and several
other boats, Bill Sweetser on RUSH, Ted Herlihy on GUT FEELING, and
Rick Lyall on STORM won the top three spots.
1, Rush, William Sweetser, Annapolis, MD, 10
2. Gut Feeling, Ted Herlihy, S. Dartmouth, MA, 11
3. Storm, Rick Lyall, Wilton, Conn., 14
R E G A T T A 2009
Only 10 days to go until the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta begins in Dublin, Ireland. 15 J/109's are registered. The regatta
will play host to many of Europe's finest sailors and promises to be a
great event on and off the water.
Our four waterfront yacht
clubs are looking forward to welcoming you, your crew & family.
Each club will be putting on fabulous entertainment and social
activities for all sailors and non sailors.
the public entertainment side the town will be awash with activities
ranging from Rowing Regattas, Vintage Car Rally's to Jazz Bands and
marching Pipe Bands.
Each Club's social programme will be published in the coming months along with the town's public programme of activities. Join us!